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2018 J.D. Power Dependability Rankings

February 14, 2018 0 Comments

The 2018 J.D. Power Dependability Rankings are in, and the title of most dependable mass-market brand after three years of vehicle ownership goes to Buick, while luxury brand Lexus took the top spot in the overall industry.

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J.D. Power measured dependability by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles; a lower score indicates higher quality. The J.D. Power study assessed vehicles from the 2015 model year.

Buick came third overall with 116 reported problems per 100 vehicles, 10 fewer than the previous year. This year marks Buick’s third mass-market win in four years.

Lexus of Toyota Motor Corp. is the most dependable brand for the seventh year running with 99 reported problems per 100 vehicles. Porsche pulled into second place with 100 reported problems, according to the J.D. Power annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study released Wednesday.

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The fourth and fifth spots were taken by Infiniti, with 120 reported problems, and Kia, with 122 reported problems.

It was a good year for Infiniti. The brand saw the biggest improvement in the rankings: 83 fewer reported problems than last year, clawing its way up to the No. 4 spot from the bottom five. Kia, in fifth place, had its “best-ever” performance, according to J.D. Power, with 26 fewer problems than last year.

Jaguar, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz all fell from the top ten, with Lincoln scraping into the tenth spot with 133 reported problems per 100 vehicles.

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The overall industry improved for the first time since 2013, with an average score of 142 reported problems per 100 vehicles. It marks a 9 percent improvement from last year, where the average was 156 reported problems.

“For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations,” said Dave Sargent, vice president at J.D. Power in a statement. “A 9 percent improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever.”

The powertrain was the most improved area, he told Automotive News.

“We did see some improvement in infotainment; we saw improvement in [the] exterior of vehicles. The improvement was pretty much across every area of the vehicle at the industry level,” Sargent said.

The highest number of complaints pertained to audio, communications, entertainment, and navigation systems. According to J.D. Power, the most common problems came from built-in voice recognition and built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

All of the top ten most dependable brands except Toyota had dips in reported problems compared to last year.

The mass-market average was 143 reported problems per 100 vehicles, with the luxury average at 136 reported problems per 100 vehicles.

“We did see some improvement in infotainment; we saw improvement in [the] exterior of vehicles,” said Sargent. “The improvement was pretty much across every area of the vehicle at the industry level.”

FCA had three brands in the bottom four: Jeep (188 reported problems), Fiat (192 reported problems), and Chrysler at the bottom of the pack (211 reported problems). Despite coming in third from last, Fiat had the best overall score improvement.

Toyota Motor received six of 19 segment awards, GM received five, and Ford received two. The Audi Q3 was the only vehicle to get an award during its introduction year, according to J.D. Power.

Other vehicles that earned an award each: Dodge Challenger, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Rio, and Mercedes-Benz GLK class.

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